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Russia ready to help Ethiopia quickly integrate into the BRICS architecture: Ambassador

Addis Ababa, February 12, 2024 (FBC) – Russia is ready to help Ethiopia integrate into BRICS architecture, Russian Ambassador to Ethiopia Evgeny Terekhin said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

He also spoke about the interest of Ethiopian citizens in Russian culture and how the project to assemble Russian Lada cars in this African country is progressing.

He said that at the end of December, the Russian AvtoVAZ signed an agreement with the Ethiopian company on the assembly and production of Lada cars in Ethiopia.

“Domestic Ladas are well known in Ethiopia and still make up a significant share of the local taxi fleet. Their deliveries began in the 1970s. The cars have proven their reliability and unpretentiousness, and therefore the Ethiopian consumer is still interested in purchasing cars of this brand. In general, the Ethiopian market seems very promising for car assembly here. At the same time, there are enough companies in Ethiopia that have the necessary experience in cooperation with foreign partners,” the Ambassador elaborated.

LADA EXPORT agreed with one of these companies, the state holding Ethio Engineering Group, last December to study the economic and technical possibilities of organizing such an assembly. Based on the results of such a study, a decision will be made to implement the corresponding project.

Ethiopia’s accession to BRICS coincided with Russia’s chairmanship of the alliance. As President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin noted in his speech at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, in 2024, as part of our country’s chairmanship in this association, about 200 political, economic and social events are planned, which will be hosted by over a dozen Russian cities. We count on the active participation of BRICS recruits, including our Ethiopian friends.

Of course, for Addis Ababa it is very important to take lessons from the experience of the Russian Federation’s participation in BRICS, along with obtaining comprehensive information about the modalities and practical aspects of its multifaceted activities.

For our part, we are ready to help our partners quickly integrate into the BRICS architecture. In this context, we invite them to gradually join various expert mechanisms and consultative formats of interstate interaction in the association. We intend to provide all necessary assistance to colleagues from the relevant ministries and departments of Ethiopia so that this process proceeds as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Work on establishing multidisciplinary interaction within the framework of the association – from foreign policy interaction, economic track and climate change topics to sports, culture, science and education – has already begun and is proceeding at a rapid pace.

At the same time, we hope that the year of Russian chairmanship in the association will allow Ethiopia to fully establish appropriate interaction in existing and planned formats, as well as take part in numerous and very diverse events organized by the Russian side through BRICS, Ambassador Evgeny Terekhin noted.

“I believe that our bilateral relations with Ethiopia will be strengthened with new opportunities for further progressive development,” the Ambassador underscored.

Regarding cultural relationship between Ethiopia and Russia, the Ambassador explained that “In recent years, we have seen a noticeable increase in interest in Russian culture, literature and language on the part of Ethiopians. In turn, we try to support and expand the cultural and humanitarian component of the entire complex of our relations.” The Russian Center for Science and Culture which was opened in Addis Ababa in March 1945 has contributed a lot to this end, he said.

“There is no doubt that our ties in the humanitarian, educational and scientific fields have a great future. We can already see this, for example, in the number of Ethiopian youth who apply to study in Russia,”

Taking this into account, in 2023 we have doubled the quota of scholarships financed from the Russian budget for Ethiopian citizens wishing to study at Russian universities.

So far, the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Addis Ababa is the only platform where Russian lessons are given to everyone on an ongoing basis. But we are keen on teaching the Russian language here from a number of Russian universities, Ambassador Evgeny stated.

“We opened this year with a truly large-scale exhibition of works by finalists of the Andrei Stenin international photo competition. For this purpose, 50 of the best photographs were specially brought to Addis Ababa, not only by Russian photo reporters, but also by participants from all continents,” the Ambassador added.

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